Do bigger wheels affect ride quality?

By Product Expert | Posted in FAQs on Tuesday, May 26th, 2020 at 8:27 am
2020 Miata wheel showcase

Does Wheel Size Affect Ride Quality?

You may have seen or heard something about wheel size affecting ride quality. Perhaps you were talking to someone with the same car as you who said they’re car has a rough ride, but yours is smooth. So what’s going on?

Do bigger wheels really affect ride quality?

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Does Ride Quality Change with Wheel Size?

driver behind the wheel of 2020 Mazda6

Yes, ride quality varies significantly with wheel size. Noise level and handling are also majorly affected by wheel size. Figuring out which wheel size is best depends on the vehicle and what the driver values. There are a few general rules when it comes to wheel size, however:

  • Smaller wheel = smoothest ride quality, low stability, predictable handling, average road noise
  • Medium wheel = average ride quality, average stability, predictable handling, low road noise
  • Bigger wheel = choppiest ride quality, high stability, responsive handling, high road noise

There are myriad factors that affect all of these ratings, such as wet/dry weather, poor/well-maintained roads, vehicle weight, vehicle engine, vehicle transmission, and much, much more. Again, each vehicle is different. We recommend test driving each wheel size (which usually varies by trim) on your desired vehicle and seeing which you prefer.

Do Tires Affect Ride Quality Too?

Definitely. They have a more immediate impact of ride quality, noise level, handling, etc., than wheel size does. A bald tire will have poor traction, handling, and stability. A brand-new tire will have excellent traction, handling, and stability, but will also be louder. An improperly aligned wheel will cause uneven tire wear, which negatively impacts every aspect of ride quality.

Does Your Vehicle Need Some Wheel Maintenance?

Here at Hall Mazda, our certified technicians can perform many different wheel and tire services, like alignments, tire-patching, and new tire installation, just to name a few. If your ride needs some TLC, schedule a service appointment at Hall Mazda today.

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